There is no doubt that selecting the right buyers for your product is key to your success in an international market. Working with buyers is a two-way street; it is not all about what they can do for you, but also requires an understanding of what you can do for them. Working together with your buyers is key, so it is essential that you both have the same goals to reach.
What to Consider When Selecting Buyers
As with anything when preparing to export, there is a range of factors you need to consider when selecting your buyers. These factors are standard across all countries, so whatever market you are planning to go into, these are some factors that should be taken into consideration.
- Scale and efficiency of the business – how big are they, how efficiently do they run? You need to have a buyer who is on top of things, and who has the ability to keep you up to date.
- Leverage – some buyers will have more leverage over others and that all comes down to the brands they carry. If they already carry strong brands that retailers must have on their shelves, there is a better chance that your product will be introduced to the retail outlet.
- Capability – this is a big one. How many merchandisers do they have, do they run in-store promotions, how big is their sales team, how many trucks do they have?
- Need – following on from capability, do they need your product? Do they have retailers who need your product on their shelves to meet a demand from customers?
Working with Buyers
We said previously that working with buyers is a two-way street, so let’s look at some of these areas that you will come across when exporting.
- Results – as an exporter you need to have realistic expectations of the results your product is likely to achieve in the market (which comes from your research), but at the same time, your buyer needs to be working towards achieving increases in sales prices and volume.
- Category expertise – as a producer or manufacturer, sharing knowledge or trends surrounding your product can help your buyers educate the market. It can also provide your buyers with key selling points to demonstrate how retailers and consumers will benefit.
- Innovation – this is an important area. Sharing new product or promotional ideas with your buyer (depending on the level of trust) may result in receiving ‘hard to find’ insights that may result in the successful launch of a range – or indeed, an innovative way to launch new products.
- Investment – as with any product you will need to invest an appropriate level to get it on the shelf and in front of customers. On the buyer’s side, they should be working to optimise your return on investment. This is where the capability and the knowledge of your target consumers come in.
- Reporting – as an exporter you need to be providing and offering open communication with your buyer. Setting expectations early is important. On the buyer’s side, they need to be sharing reports accurately and regularly.
Selecting the right buyer is essential and having the knowledge to do so comes with experience. Taking your time, interviewing a range of buyers and choosing the right partner for your business can help you become successful at exporting your product.
There’s plenty involved when it comes to exporting successfully, and you need to ensure your business is fully aware at the earliest possible moment. Export Connect delivers a highly rated online export masterclass that you can join and receive insights on how to develop a profitable and sustainable export business. Click below to find out why 100% of masterclass participants recommend the Export Connect masterclass to industry peers, or connect with us to discuss how our tailored services can prepare you for export success.